Agreement reached on new Chinese nuclear plant

25 May 2007

An agreement has been signed which would see the first two of four nuclear power reactors built at Bamaoshan, in the Anhui province of China. The development would be the first inland nuclear power project.

Bloomberg reports from Beijing indicate that a consortium of Anhui Province Energy Group, Guangdong Nuclear, Shanghai Electric Power Company and Shenergy signed an agreement on 20 May concerning the first phase of the project. Eventually it is planned for the Bamaoshan site, near Wuhu on the Yangtze river, to host four reactors of around 1000 MWe each.

The first part of the project, two reactor units, would reportedly cost around $5.75 billion, but it is unclear at this stage what reactor designs the companies are considering.

China so far employs French, Russian and indigenouspressurized water reactors as well a s Canadian pressurized heavy water reactors. Agreements have been made andcontracts are under development for the country to build andsubsequently license the technology of more advanced American andFrench units, while its own 1000 MWe design is under development for export.

Chinese planners have 19 nuclear power reactors slated for construction under the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10), and some 82 planned for later. Even this impressive program would only see nuclear achieve around a 4% share of electricity, such is the rate of the country's electrification.

Further information

WNA's Nuclear Power in China information paper